Robert Mosher, longtime La Jolla architect, town council co-founder
Published - 08/06/15 - 12:26 PM | 8767 views | 0 0 comments | 64 64 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Robert Mosher, co-founder of La Jolla Town Council, designer of the Coronado Bridge and a noted figure in the wave of postwar architects, died July 26 of natural causes in his La Jolla home. He was 94.

The Greeley, Colo. native designed one the first La Jolla Playhouse venues. His other commissions included oversight of today's Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego La Jolla campus, originally designed as a home for Ellen Browning Scripps.

Mosher was a key anti-preservationist figure in the battle over plans for the Green Dragon Colony complex, a former refuge for early 20th-century artists and writers. Offices and restaurants now operate in the venues.

Other projects designed by Mosher include the NBC Building next to downtown's Horton Plaza shopping center and a home office for Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss.

In 1965, Mosher designed the west wing of the San Diego Museum of Art, whose columns are a contemporary take on Balboa Park’s 1915 Panama-California Exposition. He also designed the UCSD Faculty Club venue.

He was educated at the Art Center School in Los Angeles and the University of Southern California and served in the Army during World War II.

Two of his colleagues, James Alcorn and Paul Benton, of Alcorn & Benton Architects, said Mosher was one of a kind.

“A good friend, mentor, associate architect, storyteller and public relations advocate for my La Jolla architectural practice: He has been all of these things to me over the past 46 years, and I continue to work on projects which came my way due to his influence,” Alcorn said.

“We will miss Bob Mosher who was always a teacher, mentor and friend — as well as an eternal optimist,” said Benton. “He had a wonderful sense of each place and the way our manmade works should fit into them. This was especially true for the wonderful seaside community of La Jolla.”

Benton noted Mosher’s legacy to La Jolla is seen in the Green Dragon Colony, the Museum of Contemporary Art, many residences, and many fine buildings at UCSD.

“Each project is identifiable with his signature style, and with a unique and timeless design,” Benton said.

Upon his retirement from his own San Diego firm, Alcorn said Mosher sought a desk space refuge in his La Jolla office over the Girard Avenue White Rabbit Bookstore.

“He would bound up the stairs like a teenager, so we always knew of his arrival,” said Alcorn. “He spent several years with us, and it was such a privilege for the young people in my office to hear his stories and be mentored by this remarkable man, who lent such an air of dignity to our office presence and meetings. We all will carry those special memories with us forever.”

Alcorn added that Mosher “will be missed, not only as an architect but as Barbara’s and my personal friend – our dinners and celebrations together with Robert and Joany, our tall tales, and our impromptu field trips.His touchingly kind parting note has been on my office bulletin board since he left the Girard Avenue office.”

Mosher is survived by his wife Joany, son Stephen, of Eugene, Ore. and daughter Karen of Las Vegas. Also surviving are a granddaughter and a brother.

The family asks that donations in Mosher's name be made to the UCSD Cancer Center and the Museum of Photographic Arts.
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